Eskom is considering paying employees a R150-million “winter challenge” bonus for avoiding power cuts, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
The report stated that the proposed bonuses, which come at a time when Eskom is “cash-strapped”, have been slammed by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.
Brown said she “cannot think of any reason to pay bonuses to Eskom employees for doing their job: keeping the lights on”.
The potential bonuses follow Eskom reportedly recently paying R4.2 billion in performance bonuses to staff, and R13 million in bonuses to executives – including former CEO Brian Molefe.
Outa subsequently opened a criminal case against Molefe for fraud and contravening the Public Finance Management Act.
The Sunday Times reported that at the end of the 2017 financial year, Eskom had R20 billion in the bank. This was enough to last it three months.
“In the last financial year, it recorded a loss of R870 million and received a qualified audit,” stated the report.
According to the Outa, the “mess” at Eskom has resulted in the price of electricity escalating by over 500% in the past 10 years.
In 2009, the cost for Eskom to produce electricity was R240.82 per MWh. The price in 2017 is R677.91 per MWh. Eskom also produces less electricity than it did in 2009.
“From its respected position at the turn of the century as a leading low-cost energy generator on a global scale, Eskom has sunk to the bottom quartile of energy production utilities,” said Outa.